Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blogging and Marriage - I DO!

You've probably never spent one minute playing with this metaphor, but as a NEWlywed and a NEWish blogger I've been thinking a lot about the similarities between good blogging and good marriages.

First, there's the "for better or worse" part. In the case of blogging there are all those uninspired and uninspiring posts and "writer's block" to contend with. One puts up with these FRUSTRATIONS and DISAPPOINTMENTS for the sake of those nuggets of brilliance!

There's also the "for richer, for poorer part." (Mostly POORER in the case of blogging.)

But seriously - like anything done well - I think good blogging and good marriages are driven by five important attributes:

1) Both require a significant committment of time and energy. It takes a lifetime to become a good writer and editor and partner.

2) Both require passion. Passion is motivating. It inspires you to get up every day and do the work you want to do in this crazy world. Passion also helps carry you through the tough times.

3) Both require self knowledge. Your mother was right when she told you to WAIT to get involved in a significant romance until AFTER you spent more time getting to know yourself. I think it's a little like that too with blogging or any form of writing. You need to do some soul searching to figure out what you care about and what you're trying to say.

4) Both require good listening skills. (I'm still working on this one!)

5) Both require real courage. Like making oneself vulnerable to another person, making one's ideas, thoughts, and idiosyncracies public is no easy task. But like anything worth doing, sometimes you have to step off the cliff and "just do it!"
Here's to you and here's to saying, "I DO!"


Qui said...

Oy - the courage piece is a huge hurdle for me on all fronts! Especially now that I'm on Twitter. Be brave everyone!

Your wedding was wonderful - congratulations again to you both!

Amy Sample Ward said...

Great points! The only thing that I would add is that it is really more about conversation, than just listening...Finding ways to ask the right questions so that you can listen to the really important feedback, and answering the same questions yourself.


Dan said...

A few men told me that the secret to a happy marriage was to remember these words: "yes dear;" "I'm sorry;" and ... oops, I forgot one.

So, yes dear. Marriage and blogging are alike. But I'm sorry that I forgot the last piece of advice.

I liked your list better.

I love you Jocelyn Harmon!


Dan Moore

Rick Cohen said...

Congratulations Jocelyn! You look so happy in that picture. I wish you both all the best. (and you are right on with all the points you make, both in life and in blogging)

Bryan D Jennewein said...

As a follow up for what Amy said...

I, too, am working hard on #4. (Oye...)

... one of the best pieces of advice on "listening" came from a master fitness trainer in New Zealand, Rachel Cohen. She told me that in order to be the best fitness instructor, and to really change people's lives every single time I teach, I needed to learn to ***CONNECT***. To do this, she claims, requires only one mantra:

Always listen NOT for the next opportunity to speak, but for the next opportunity to encourage your speaker to trust you with more of herself.

I was amazed at how changing a simple exchange of words could do so much. For example, if a participant said "Hey, great class!"... instead of saying thanks, I'd say "thanks, what did you like about it?" This resulted in some meaningful engagement (and a new friend!).

Maybe the same is true for blogging! Is deeper engagement better? I think most would say yes. But I'm left wondering how I can blog so as to ask the kinds of meaningful questions that will result in deeper dialogue. (Or some awesome comment strings!)

Thanks, as always, for sharing, J.

Bryan Jennewein

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